Back in the day I had an odd coincidence where I went out with about four women in a row who were either masseuses or studying to be physios. Occasionally I used to get lucky there in the afternoon light of my smallish room – no, not in that sense; I meant that they would sometimes give me a massage.
Oh! In those moments when I wasn’t suddenly thanking God for having been born, I had a fascinating physical revelation that everything within the body seemed to be connected to everything else, so that when one part of the body was touched something else said thank you. I turned around and told Karina that the body is a miracle, isn’t it? About a trillion intricate operations the size of a few atoms naturally regulate everything under the sun to make our bodies work and all this sprang forth from a simple squirt of goo. It’s amazing that the heart beats, that muscles contract so gracefully and work so well in tandem with all the other functions. We get jobs, we buy houses (maybe not so much anymore), we watch TV, we get status, all of it insulation against the fact that all we have is our bodies, that our bodies are the one constant.
Karina is one of the two women I could have married, written off the rest of womankind forever and been utterly happy about it. The other I won’t talk about, even though I always indirectly do anyway. Karina had been brainwashed throughout her thirty-year old life by her mother and her Jehovah’s Witnesses buddies. She was third-year physiotherapy and hence knew all about the body. She put her religious angle onto it and said, “Yes it is a miracle, and it’s a miracle that comes from God.”
She was a dance teacher before she began her studies, who knew first-hand about how the body’s movements can deliver happiness. Her body is frail, her wrists are very thin. The first Friday after we kissed and established the setting I ran my finger and thumb along the bottom half of her slender brown dancer’s leg, a reminder of what was quietly under her clothes. I’ve never touched a person so physically sacred to me, she was who she was because of her person but also because of her body, and there was no need to separate the two.
She wore shoes that showed the top half of her feet. Later as we were walking along a rocky trail she mimed to me the action of climbing in a story she was telling me, raising her leg and laughing. Her leg was small compared to my long one, by my physical standards it was like watching a child acting out a skit. I wanted to keep her then, I wanted her legs to be my own, and for my body to similarly be hers. Maybe one day it might still happen; they aren’t all sad stories.